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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 225913
Last updated: 8 June 2019
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Date:12-APR-1940
Time:03:06
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk V
Owner/operator:77 Squadron Royal Air Force (77 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N1347
C/n / msn: AWA.1511
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, between Skagerrak and Kattegat. -   Denmark
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whiltley Mk.V N1347 (KN-E) of 77 Squadron, RAF: The crew left RAF Driffield at 19:35 on April 11 on a reconnaissance mission for enemy shipping in the Skagerrak and Kattegat. A last W/T transmission was heard at 03: 05 LT on the morning of April 12, then the aircraft disappeared into the sea between the east coast of Denmark and the west coast of Sweden. The official Air Ministry report into the incident (File AIR 81/122) states "Whitley N1347 force landed in the North Sea because of engine failure, 12 April 1940". (However, that would make Whitley N1347 some 300 km west of its last known position). All five crew were killed (officially listed as "missing presumed dead")

Crew of Whitley N1347:

Flying Officer George Edgar Saddington (Pilot, Service Number 37945, aged 22) - missing presumed dead;
Pilot Officer Christopher Rendel Hebeler (Service Number 40390, aged 24) - missing presumed dead;
Sergeant John Raleigh Ibbotson (Service Number 580861) - missing presumed dead;
Corporal Oscar Haire (Service Number 567057, aged 22) - missing presumed dead;
Aircraftman 1st Class Peter William Simpson Chalmers (Service Number 619757) - missing presumed dead;

As no trace of the aircraft or its crew of five was ever found, the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/122: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14141957
3. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-armstrong-whitworth-aw38-whitley-v-north-sea-5-killed-0
4. https://backtonormandy.org/the-history/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/whitley/28551-RAF10813.html
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kattegat
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2940803/saddington,-george-edgar/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1799858/hebeler,-christopher-rendel/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1800871/ibbotson,-john-raleigh/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1799086/haire,-oscar/
10. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1084219/chalmers,-peter-william-simpson/ .

Two Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark Vs, N1373 'KN-J' and N1347 'KN-E', of No. 77 Squadron RAF, overfly Driffield, Yorkshire, on return from a night-reconnaissance sortie: Aircraft of the Royal Air Force 1939-1945-armstrong Whitworth Aw.38 Whitley C928

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Jun-2019 18:53 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Jun-2019 18:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Jun-2019 10:39 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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